TrekUnited Ends Fan-Fundraising, Looks Into Future

Money to be refunded / TrekUnited looking for a new direction / Building a global fan organization

Posted by Chris R. on 04/18/2005 originaly

On April 18th TrekUnited staff around Tim Brazeal announced the end of Fan-fundraising. In their statement -- that we document as follows -- they reason this step with Paramount's immovableness in the question of appreciating TrekUnited Inc. (TU) as a party to a deal. The global fan community, which moved together in the last two month under TU, has to ask the future question now.

Thus the first crucial phase of this new grassroots movement is concluded. Middle and long term strategies to bring back
Star Trek: Enterprise are to be created. According to this Living Trekism ends tactical alert and is still willing to make their commitment to that discussions for future defiances.

TU 2005: Coto in LA, Fans in Tel Aviv & Roddenberry jr., Moore, Brazeal, Drexler in LA
TU 2005: Coto in LA, Fans in Tel Aviv & Roddenberry jr., Moore, Brazeal, Drexler in LA
When TrekUnited was founded two months ago, it aimed to save Star Trek: Enterprise and keep alive the Star Trek legacy in one way primarily: by raising funds to sponsor the actual production of another season of the show. Since then, TrekUnited has collected $144,173 from fans who have contributed through Paypal or sent in checks. Together with a generous donation of $3m in pledges from investors in space-flight industry, this has been the highest amount of funds ever raised by a fan campaign. The new approach of "putting our money where our mouth is" was considered to be more convincing than plain letter-writing in a time of more business-oriented media.

Beyond its initial setting, the campaign has grown ever since then. Building upon united fan support from several thousands of Star Trek and science fiction fans in more than forty countries, TrekUnited has organized letter writing and flyer campaigns, staged world-wide rallies, lobbied for congressional support and explored many other angles to keep Star Trek on the airwaves.

One of these approaches had to be kept fairly vague in public due to its confidential nature: talks with various departments and levels of Paramount regarding a continuation of the show, as well as negotations with entertainment companies. As reported, TrekUnited has been working with a group of Canadian production companies on a proposal for a co-production deal with Paramount. Fan contributions would not be required. This proposal was pitched to Paramount's decision makers recently.

Yesterday, campaign leader Tim Brazeal announced the outcome of these negotiations. Unfortunately, despite the significant sum being offered to produce a fifth season which was a multiple of the money raised by TrekUnited so far (further details to be released shortly), Paramount turned down the offer. Additionally, Paramount has reinforced its stance that it cannot and will not take money contributed by fans, even though TrekUnited became incorporated over one and a half months ago and technically any money offered would not have to be regarded any different than from a corporate sponsor.

TU 1972: Nichols, Roddenberry, Fansm, Nimoy & Barrett on 1st Trek Convention in NY
TU 1972: Nichols, Roddenberry, Fans, Nimoy & Barrett on 1st Trek Convention in NY
Because of these developments, we have decided to end the fundraising for this cause and return contributions to the fans. According to TrekUnited's Terms of Agreement, all contributed money was to be refunded minus the transactional costs charged to us, should no agreement be reached with Paramount to use the funds to sponsor the show. Starting today, refunds will be issued as quickly as possible.

We believe that we have made our point with raising funds on our own, from the fans, for the cause of sponsoring Star Trek: Enterprise. We have the attention of international media as well as gotten acknowledgement from Paramount, which has allowed us to work on further levels. In light of corporate deals that, while not being accepted by Paramount at this time, have proven possible and feasible, on the one hand, and the continuing criticism and disbelief regarding this approach to bring back the show from parts of the fandom on the other hand, we are closing the chapter of fundraising to sponsor the show, while we maintain hope that the vision of fan-funded television will become a reality eventually.

TrekUnited is now looking into the future and will continue to explore other means of bringing back Star Trek: Enterprise or another series. In light of Paramount's rejection of our current proposal, the campaign will restructure itself and discuss future approaches. We believe that in any case, we have shown and want to keep showing that Star Trek lives on through the fans, their optimistic vision of the future, and their commitment to make a difference, together. We will build upon our achievements of uniting fans world-wide in the past two months and intend to continue to establish a global fan organization and uplifting community for all Star Trek fans.

The TrekUnited staff wishes to thank all supporters for their amazing financial contributions which have made this campaign a historic effort. We hope that you will continue to support TrekUnited and its new endeavours!

(Source: TrekUnited)

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